Daedalus – a thriller adventure hard sci-fi video game taking place in 2112 aboard the space station orbiting Venus. It takes place during the Golden Age of humanity, in the After Reset universe, when the United Governments are formed, artifacts of the Incorporeals appeared but since then due to the lack of activity were supplanted from daily News became just a part of the background for humans' daily rat racing.
In Daedalus, you play as astronaut Matt Cramer, an engineer aboard the Daedalus Space Station. Over the past year, the Daedalus crew has conducted an orbital exploration of Venus and the Sun, and now only thirty days remain until the next crew rotation.
Spirits are high and everyone seems eager to return home, but Matt’s dreams are plagued by prophetic nightmares of death and destruction. As the days count down to zero, strange events unfold. Crewmates succumb to accidents or rumors of murder, communications go dark, and everyone grows increasingly on edge as conspiracy theories abound. Though help is on its way, Matt must survive until it arrives.
Daedalus is an episodic single player game featuring:
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I bet, most of you who's been rooting the Daedalus so far went to theaters this week and watched the Life movie. If you haven't done that, I encourage you to do that next week. The Life really worth it, albeit it has little in common with the Daedalus except approach to the cast.
Here I'd like to debrief that solid space sci-fi movie and mold similarities and differences to the Daedalus meant to be. As well as, to look in and learn from such piece of sci-fi art as Life movie.
So, first and foremost, it must be said I did not know anything about neither the Life movie no about it's cast, plot, shooting or premier till the November 2016. Some of our Kickstarter backers linked me on the Life trailer during the campaign running on that time. Therefore, any possible matches or similarities are coincidental.
Nevertheless, let’s debrief the Life with regards to Daedalus:
Life, movie: Life is set in modern days of 2017 (watch an early trailer). Despite the fact that the movie takes place in 2017, the world of Life is some kind of different from reality. Like in reality, Life takes place in a time when we have not yet landed on Mars. Nevertheless, the 2017 of Life is much more advanced in terms of Martian exploration. Astronauts from Life are getting ready to intercept a research pod from Mars containing what is believed to be a life-form from Mars. It's a major scientific discovery - the first pod ever to be successfully retrieved from the planet.
Daedalus, video game: Daedalus takes place in a future, 2112 AD. 5 years after enormous Artifacts suddenly appeared on Earth in 2107 AD. The substance (if it is even a substance) those Artifacts have been unknown and kept unexplored for those 5 years despite all efforts of the humanity. The Artifacts have kept silence. All of Fermions and most of Bosons known by humanity by the 2112 AD, emitted to study the Artifacts have been reflected back without any changes. Since the instant emerging in 2107 AD, the Artifacts have not shown any detectable activity (according to the official and public visions).
Life, movie: The events and action of Life take place aboard the International Space Station (ISS). In general, the ISS in Life looks more realistic, more hard sci-fi than in 90% of the space sci-fi movies. Toilet, socks, holders and plenty of other small but accurate things that were brought, obviously, with love, patience and dedication by the team behind the movie.
Though, with that there are bunch of non-realistic things from soft sci-fi that, I bet, were brought in the movie intentionally: like astronauts basically sleep in souped-up sleeping bags, not pristine electronic capsules; or there is no super plasma blasters aboard the ISS (frankly, the fire is the one of the most danger on space station, hence, it is hard to find things that might burn aboard); holographic displays (not yet, guys).
Speaking about the exteriors of the station, the ISS is a much more bigger in Life than in real life. Though, it's fine and accurate because in the alternative version of nowadays they've invested $200 billion into the station, according to the mission commander in the movie. In our reality the space agency has only spent $67 billion so far on the station. Moreover, it's future is under debates now.
Daedalus, video game: As most of you already know or expected, the plot of the Daedalus takes place aboard another space station – the Daedalus Space Station (DSS) orbiting Venus, not Earth. Most of its tech specs and design you can see on the page I've linked on.
As we know, the ISS in the movie is much bigger than in the real life. Now you can imagine how huge the DSS is compared to real life ISS or even to the ISS in Life. The DSS's pressurized volume is 16,320m3 versus 931m3 of ISS nowadays. You can even see all its design compared to the size of an astronaut if you've missed it.
Beyond that, keep in mind the planets and orbits differences. The DSS orbits Venus with all the hard sci-fi consequences from that.
Life, movie: Well, if you haven't seen the movie, than just skip that part. If you have, than let's summarize: the astronauts took a dormant single-celled organism. That's just enough information for the media frenzy to begin back on Earth, where celebrations are ubiquitous, and the whole crew takes part in remote interviews. A schoolgirl in Times Square dubs the little cell "Calvin," and the name takes off; soon, so does the critter. After astronauts figures out the exact atmosphere to create in his miniature lab, Calvin wakes up, starts wiggling around…and begins to grow from one little cell into many more.
Then Calvin starts growing, first into something resembling a couture pasty designed by H.R. Giger, then into a little floppy, translucent starfish. An analysis of his cellular structure reveals that he is "all muscle, all brain, and all eye." He's no bigger than a tennis ball when he crumples Hugh's hand like a soda can and escapes his box in the lab. From there, he keeps finding food, and growing, and picking off the crew one by one. And the game begins...
I really dig the CGI of the Calvin. It is designed as a perfect zero-gravity killer... though not from Mars, hence. Its biology, behavior, evolution are not too scientific at all but they sounds much more compelling than the majority of soft sci-fi movies. One of the biggest lore fail behind the Calvin from science biology view is... that real alien forms of life (in case of its microbiological nature) would want anything to do with us at all. There's popular idea that extraterrestrial microbiological lifeforms can make us sick or consume us. The case is to digest or took something from other form of life you should share the microbiology of your victim. But in that case that won't be "an alien" form of life, you know. It might sound confusing, because most people think of the kinds of things that do make them sick - bacteria or viruses... but they've been sharing an evolutionary path with us for four billion years. They know all about us (their victims), what's in our body that they need. Extraterrestrial microbiological life forms – won't.
Daedalus, video game: I won't be spoiling here about the plot. Albeit, it is not a secret that astronauts in the game are connected to two (both marked as "probable") life forms by default.
The first is the Incorporeals (supposed owners/dwellers/creators? of the Artifacts on Earth). Some scientists on Earth proposed that minds/brains of such unique people like Lia Medvedia (payload specialist aboard the DSS) might perceive/distinguish patterns of neutrino from/to Artifacts to the Sun. Such scientists believe that that might be some kind of communication. Nevertheless, the extraterrestrial life behind the Artifacts has nothing even closed to any of the "aliens/Calvins" we are so used to meet in sci-fi horrors. I believe, I put that idea through the Lia’s contemplation in the Narrative Design on Patreon. People used to watch like one tine piece of extraterrestrial life behaves like a predator and threatens "the mighty hummanity". But what if for other comparison – we are that tiny miserable and almost unnoticed (single cell or bacteria-like) extraterrestrial life?
Another announced, more common, possible form of life is the one dwelt in the atmosphere of Venus. Its studies are active nowadays. Therefore, in Daedalus (2112 AD) they are brought to some routine level.
Life, movie: Alas, that is the weakest point of the movie (from my meek opinion). The cast is great but I felt like none of the characters are expressed enough (m.b. except for Calvin). Hiroyuki Sanada, Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal – they are awesome actors. I know, they can enthrall into their play themselves... but here (once again, it's just IMHO) they look like occasional guests to a sitcom ad. I imply, I do not empathize anyone of them – they are dying all the time but... well... it happens when you touch some slimy disgusting alien, you know. I do not have reasons to feel sorry for those people.
Beyond that, like it was explicated in several reviews: "The fictional NASA in Life by a bunch of psychopaths and idiots". By the time the cute jellyfish had grown into a jelly version of the lizards from Holes and then into a jelly version of Drogon it was pretty clear that everyone on board the ISS had fucked up. Also, they insisted on calling it "Calvin," like it was the friendly ISS cat, for the entirety of the film!
Time goes and the orbit of the ISS is decaying is because NASA and Russia decided to send Soyuz capsule to the station - to PUSH IT INTO DEEP SPACE. The idea is "there’s no way Calvin is coming to Earth, so we're going to kill everyone on board the station instead". Nope, NASA does not hate its astronauts and will not destroy them all without letting them know first.
Dr. North said in the first 10 minutes of this movie, "Let’s all agree this is our first and last mistake," and boy oh boy, if they had really all agreed on that, it would have been a very different film. I bet most of adults watched the movie might be confident saying that what they gleaned from Life is not that humans are too curious, or that alien life is to be feared in all contexts. It is that NASA should be careful not to hire people who are so bizarrely eager to chuck a $200 billion space station off into the hinterlands of the universe, and that perhaps the real monster is not a Martian or science or the unknown, but more simply, an idiot. Any idiot.
Daedalus, video game: In the Daedalus, I would try to focus not on aliens or action but on people. The actual plot is about those sex astronauts aboard. They are the focus while everything around (like setting, science, aliens, space station, space, etc.) are just environments and backgrounds. At least, I see the Daedalus that way and would like to make it that way. That is why a decent part of the Act One we’re staging on Patreon is about the characters introduction. It is all to make you care about them, feel with them.
Life, movie: Well, aside from those parts I mentioned already, Life has now less science background than the Martian or Gravity. One of such cool hard sci-fi feature you can meet in Live is drowning in space. I mean it. Getting water in your spacesuit is indeed a problem, and one astronaut actually nearly drowned several years ago. In 2013, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano was spacewalking outside of the ISS when his helmet started filling with water. At the time NASA thought his drinking bag had leaked, but it turned out that a filter in the suit’s cooling system got clogged. Liquid buildup in a suit has occurred other times before too. Astronaut Chris Hadfield went temporarily blind during a spacewalk when the anti-fog solution used inside his spacesuit got into his eyes.
As the opposite, I need to notice some more week point in NASA's plan "let's kill them all" in Life. That's not how orbital mechanics work. You can't just push something as huge as the ISS out of orbit with something as small as the Soyuz capsule. It doesn’t have nearly enough propellant needed to push the ISS out into deep space. Someone is seriously underestimating Earth's gravity as well.
And you remember that his is when Jake decides to lure Calvin into an "escape pod" with him using an "oxygen candle," because oxygen is like crack for Calvin, he loves it so much. Facepalm. He hates everyone alive, but he absolutely loves oxygen, and literally hugs the device producing it. In the escape pod, handsome Jake plans to override the Earth-bound autopilot and shoot himself into deep space. Everyone in this movie talks so much about flinging their problems out into deep space as if this is a luxury we all have.
Albeit, the cool thing is there are such things as solid-oxygen generators on the station, which ignite an oxygen-rich compound in a canister, according to NASA. But they definitely don't light up like glowsticks, and you can't hold them. Also, there aren't escape pods on the ISS. What the ISS should have, though, are the capsules that the astronauts came up in! Those don't just go away. Like that crazy rogue Soyuz capsule, there should be at least two other Soyuz capsules up there for situations just like these. And they have room for three people, not just one.
Daedalus, video game: You know that I dig hard sci-fi and iron-bound to that imperative for the whole setting of After Reset.
Anyway, by now the Daedalus’s budget is barely $100+ from Patreon’s donations . Let’s see where it will lead us :)
Stay tuned! Stay Sci-Fi!
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